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COMMENTARY: SPEND! SPEND! AND TAX!

UPDATED

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet

This past December we wrote an editorial urging the mayor and council to do away with the street sweepers in Gloucester City as they were costing taxpayers tooCNB Editorial much money to operate. We suggested that the only way to reduce taxes in the City was to cut operating costs. And those cuts could begin by getting rid of those two sweepers. 

 According to the documents we received from an OPRA request the city received about $1,200 in 2018 from the parking tickets issued to people who blocked the sweeper. Compared that number to the cost of  operating the sweeper which is estimated $136,369 in just salaries for two full-time employees and one part-time employee.

A further breakdown reveals the annual salary for each driver is $60,255 (that doesn't include health benefits). Both men work 40 hours per week. The PEO, a part-time position with no benefits, works 23 hours per week. The position pays $13.26 per hour or $15,859 annually.

 As for the two full time employees we suggested they be utilized in the highway department doing other jobs. Presently they are assigned to those other jobs now whenever it snows, rains or the sweeper is broken down. When they retired don't replace them. 

This Thursday night mayor and council will vote on two bond ordinances totaling $3.1 million. The money will be used to buy a number of things such as more vehicles, pave streets, a new fire department pumper and a new sweeper costing $217,000. We feel spending that much money for a new street sweeper is a mistake. That money could be spent on repaving more streets. Some of those streets have been neglected so long they are like cattle paths. 

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YEAR          No. of Tickets issued     TOTAL REVENUE        

2014-               1,924                                  $1,220        

2015                 2,329                                  $ 1,506

2016                 2,137                                  $ 1,366

2017                 2,162                                  $ 1,382

*2018               1,688                                $ 1,178

*up until 11-28-18    

 

Related: Save Gloucester City Taxpayers Money, Do Away with the Street Sweepers

Another expenditure that seems to be excessive is the cost of city-owned vehicles. The city is buying several more vehicles with the $3.1 million bond ordinances that will be voted on at the June 27 council meeting 7:30 PM in the City Hall, 313 Monmouth Street. Our city is only 2 plus square miles and yet our research in 2016 revealed that the city-owned 141 pieces of equipment which includes 77 vehicles, with a total value of approximately $5,406,025.

Related: CNB TIPS AND SNIPPETS: Love Your Money; Local Fisherman Nets $3,362

A further breakdown in 2016 disclosed;  

Department of Public Works/Highway Departments has 41 pieces of equipment of which 17 are vehicles, for a total value of $1,649,977.

10906145_778939912176243_8086295575022335592_n
Why does the Gloucester City Police Department need 28 vehicles?

 

The Police Department has 38 pieces of equipment of which 28 are vehicles, total value $878,112.

The Fire Department has 29 pieces of equipment, of which 11 are vehicles, total value $1,934,756.

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photo credit Fine Art America
Can anyone tell us why the city fire dept. owns a boat?

The Water/Sewer Department owns 27 pieces of equipment of which 16 vehicles, total value $860,731.

The Housing Department has six pieces of equipment of which five are vehicles, the total value of $82,449.

After all these years writing about those who govern our city we know our suggestions are just hopeful wishes. Over those five-plus decades of MY career, the faces of the mayor and council change every so often but their policy of SPEND AND TAX has remained the same. That is all they know how to do is spend your money.  

Public hearing and final adoption of the Bond ordinances will be held Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 PM, council chambers, 313 Monmouth Street.

Related: Gloucester City's Fleet of 141 Vehicles/Equipment is Valued at $5.4 Million 

BAD FINANCIAL NEWS! Gloucester City's Debt Outlook Given a Negative Rating by S&P Global

 

published Gloucestercitynews.net | June 26, 2019

 

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